Making Memories in the US of A!
By Vignesh Rao and Sreelakshmi Prakash, Junior Reporters for the Light House
International trips are an inseparable part of education in the Indian High School. Such trips are conducive to holistic education and students learn about the world and multifarious cultures with first-hand experience. One of the most awaited annual educational trips in IHS is the USA Space Camp Tour. This year, the thirteen day trip encompassed the states of New York, Washington D.C., Alabama and Florida. The students were accompanied by chaperones from their respective sections as well.
Our IHS troop landed in the iconic city of New York! The city’s fast moving streets, shimmering lights and shops made it a much awaited stop on the itinerary. The students visited the very famous Statue of Liberty where the colossal sculpture and the stories on its origin intrigued the student. Most of them took a deluge of snaps with friends and teachers.
The Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum NYC was another student favourite! The students were excited to take pictures with many of their dream celebrities be it Selena Gomez or Shah Rukh Khan. All the statues were carved to perfection and looked very realistic.
The students returned to New York again but this time, they visited the Buffalo-Niagara Region. They went on the ‘Maid of the Mist’ boat ride. The ride exhilarated them as they went past the Bridal Veil Falls, were in close proximity to the Horseshoe Falls and got totally drenched in water. One could hear everyone shriek with excitement incessantly. The students were also given ample time to indulge in some shopping at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls.
Our IHS tourists basked in the sun and beheld multitudinous monuments at the Capital City. The city tour took the students to some renowned tourist attractions like the United States Capitol, White House, Lincoln Monument, Washington Monument and many more. The cicerone provided the pupils with some salient information on the city and its monuments.
The next stop on the trip was the Sunshine State of Florida. All the students anticipated loads of frolic at Magic Kingdom and Universal Orlando.
The Magic Kingdom with Disney heroes and princesses, braving a ghostly mansion while going on thrilling rides to destroy Disney villains and goofing with Mickey at the Disney parade was what Disneyland was all about.
Unforgettable thrills and magical experiences awaited the students at the Universal Orlando. A vast majority of the students chose the Islands of Adventure theme park. The Potterheads queued up for the roller coasters at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. “I had a great time at the Universal Studios and personally loved the The Incredible Hulk ride where we went all around in loops. It was a really cool experience.” shared Akshara Vijay. The fast paced rides, water splashes, monstrous drops and sharp turns gave everyone an adrenaline rush.
The destination that the students desperately waited for was the week long expedition at the United States Space Camp, Huntsville, Alabama. All the pupils were divided into teams and were led by their crew trainers. Two of the IHS teams in the Advanced Space Academy were Isidis and Alba. The entire week, all the trainees underwent an exhaustive astronaut training which included everything from the Neutral Buoyancy Tank (scuba diving) to the one-sixth gravity chair.
During the course of their training, they had three simulated space missions in total. The members of the team were assigned various posts like Commander, Capsule Communicator, Flight Engineer, etc.
Apart from these, the trainees were given a plethora of presentations on topics germane to astronomy. There were a series of engineering challenges as well. Some of these were rocket building, robot making, etc. The students loved the activities they performed at Area 51, an area for team building exercises.
“The Space Camp was truly the best part of the trip. The wide range of activities, be it simulations of missions or team building challenges, were all exhilarating to say the least. The overall environment of the place was quite pleasant” said Alan Ryan Lobo, who won the Right Stuff Medal on graduation.
All in all, the students were ecstatic on spending time in the Space Camp not only because they had created fond memories that they would take back with them, but also because they had gained a lot of knowledge.
The plenitude of fun-filled bus rides, Snapchat clicks, delectable food and awesome tourist spots gave the students thirteen days of unlimited fun. On the last day, they were all ready to board their flight back home with a tinge of disappointment that they couldn’t stay longer. This was a trip that will remain etched in their memories forever.